Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soap and Philosophy

I've been trying to buy a bar of soap. Anyone else noticed that these are becoming increasingly difficult to find? Apparently what we all now want is liquid soap that can be pumped out of a spout. And if we must have bar soap then what we want is twenty different varieties of Dove. Pootling around the streets of Brighton, I ended up in the enormous Boots chemist on North Street where a shop assistant pointed at the rows of Dove, shook her head and reminisced about the good old days of Palmolive, Lux, Knight's Castile and Camay - especially Camay, with the rich lather and the sillouhette of a gracious lady on the packet. They all want the liquid stuff now, she said, handing me a double-pack from a newly-arrived consignment of Cusson's Imperial Leather as though it were contraband. We reminisced about the old TV adverts for that: the rich couple in their private jet up to their necks in suds as they sat in their marble baths, soaping themselves luxuriously while the rabbling hordes shouted and agitated outside. They want the Imperial Leather, said she; clearly, said he, before giving the pilot instructions to bugger off to Bermuda (best place for them, probably).

But anyway, I'd like to know what the world is coming to when you go into a chemist for a bar of soap and come face to face with a pamphlet called Philosophy, which is all about skin care products on the one hand - but on the other hand seems to be peddling a serious nouveau new-age take on every aspect of your life. Under bath and shower products, for example:
remember to dance in your nightgown, sing in the shower, ride a bike, fly a kite and take an occasional "wind bath" in your bare skin, give those you love big kisses, huge hugs and the words "i love you" often and always.
Under antioxidant moisturising is offered the insight that
where there is hope there can be faith - where there is faith miracles can occur.
Would you expect anything less from a manufacturer ("a skin care entrepreneur and visionary") that produces a shampoo called Unconditional Love?

Just take me to Bermuda. Though actually, Brighton pied-à-terre does very nicely for me just now - clear, fresh and bright, as I would like to be, but sans Philosophy. Mr. Signs joining me tomorrow. Another poetry reading on Sunday. Then back to the forest edge.

7 comments:

belinda whitworth said...

I do so agree about the soap business - and yet what could be more economical and environmentally fiendly (or even friendly)? Who wants yet another plastic bottle, and stuff diluted with water? I have to get my soap from the wholefood shop.

Referring back to your last post, yes, you're right about us all meaning something different by 'one thing'. I suppose what I mean is, I can only do one 'ought' a day. I think you mean something more.

Cusp said...

well if you WILL shop in chi-chi Brighton !!! Come over here to the sticks...a quick sloosh in the watere butt and I'm off into the fields picking out the stones: no philosophising for me :O)

Reading the Signs said...

Belinda, I should probably go and live in Albania - I've often thought so when looking at all the various kinds of washing powders/detergents on supermarket shelves. Just want to keep the essentials simple.

Cusp? - never mind chi-chi Brighton, I'm moving to Albania (see above). Or I might join you in the water butt. Goose fat and ashes - that's what we should be using.

Zhoen said...

I remember when liquid soaps came out in most public places, and read about a study of bars of soap in restrooms at various universities. The soap, left wet in a dish, were better than a petri dish at growing some rather nasty bacteria.

Personally, I hated half dissolved soap, dropping it, chasing it around the tub, having to clean the soupy scum. I think, given a place that will refill home size dispensers, I use a lot less soap with the liquid ones.

Reading the Signs said...

Zhoen well in that case I probably need to re-think my Albania plan. Funny though - there are whole shops full of soap bars (Lush, Body Shop) - the very expensive, prettified and perfumey kind.

Digitalesse said...

I stock up on the own-brand versions of Simple. "Why make your life more complicated?" said the advert in days of yore. But even Simple stuff isn't so simple these days. Everything has added this and that in it.

As for all that "philosophy" stuff, I came across a 'Spiritual Growth' 2012 calendar with an annoying trite slogan for every month. Although it's like Janet and John meets the Care Bears, I do know a grown adult who would really enjoy that calendar. However, if I bought it I'd feel like an enabler.

Reading the Signs said...

Digi - LOL!